Progress is so slow it feels like wading through treacle. Although the demolition work is coming along a treat the construction part is reminiscent of a new driver doing kangaroo starts. I learned a new skill this week. Taking apart a chimney breast. I did it the slow way taking out one brick at a time. Chiselling out the plaster between the bricks and gently prizing each one out so as not to disturb the wall too much. One skill I was not ready to develop this week was using a cutter which not only cut through brick also cut through concrete and steel. I watched in awe and certain amount of dread as Andrew cut through the steep pins holding the concrete base of chimney to the wall above the sink in the kitchen. It was awesome watching all the sparks flying and wondering if he could avoid the dangling electrical cable. I was too busy checking the photos I’d taken to see the concrete block come away from the wall. The room was covered in red brick dust and although I’d sheeted down everywhere it was so intense it filtered through the dust sheets. Brick covered apples – yum yum.
So why does it feel slow? Because the builders are not keeping pace with our destructive work. Well – it isn’t all strictly destructive. Andrew is doing a lot of the foundation work. He spent most of the week laying the pipes for the ensuite showers, basins and toilets. Floorboards are up everywhere, the house is covered in dust. The carpet, where it is still in place has acquired Mars like red sheen top layer over the green. I haven’t quite given up vacuuming because I can’t stand eating grit – but I did take myself away for the day yesterday when the workmen turned up to put in a fireproof partition wall and fire door in the loft. We were expecting them to come back and do the ensuite today but alas they were having a day off as well. The main man was coming round only to measure up. It was too much to bear. I pointed out our deadline of end of November and that I could not see how we could meet this if they only work one day a week on what by his own estimation was a job requiring another 20 days work. He suggested we could let out two of the rooms which would be ready on a £50.00 discount till the rest of the house is finished. I wasn’t really asking for business advise – just for the job to be completed. I voiced what our problem was – we had put all our eggs in one basket and was now totally reliant on one builder. Not that we had much choise. We knew no other builder at the time.
Anyway, he has arranged for the plasterer to come and do the stud wall in the second ensuite room on Wednesday and is trying to arrange for a tiler to come and tile both rooms this week. He will come next weekend to fit the showers (when I think of how we rushed around getting the materials a couple of weeks ago and they are still sitting idle). Whe the elusive fire doors arrive he’ll send the chippy in for a week to fit them. I think Andrew lost heart when he realized how much there is still to do and how little time we have left. He went home early with a bad back. At the rate we are going we need a miracle to bring this in on time.